newbie needs TIVO/REPLAY TV/? help...

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by John B., Jan 6, 2003.

  1. John B.

    John B. Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 19, 1999
    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hi there. I've had good luck getting help here before so here goes--

    Could someone give me the 10000 ft overview of what sort of TIVO or REPLAY TV or ULTIMATE TV (or whatever they're calling them these days) are out there? I know Tivo is something you have to pay extra for...I'm hoping there's a digital recorder/dss box out there these days that allows you to record shows WITHOUT any extra monthly (or up front, besides the hardware itself) fees. I'd also prefer if it were a SONY product to match my other equipment. And hopefully there's no phone line connection req'd since I don't have a connector anywhere near my TV now.

    Thanks a lot.
     
  2. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2000
    Messages:
    8,296
    Likes Received:
    52
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Mississippi
    Real Name:
    Robert
    Tivos come in two flavors:
    Stand-alone that have a TV tuner built in. Connect an antenna or basic cable and the box will change the channel and do the recording. Add a satellite receiver or cable box and Tivo takes care of sending the commands (either through an IR blaster or direct serial connection) to change channels.
    Integrated with a satellite receiver. These are called DirecTivos. They have dual tuners to record two channels at once. Also they record the digital bit stream directly off of the dish so there is no loss in picture or sound quality. Only works with DirecTV and can't record from any other source.

    Replay TV works like a stand alone Tivo but the software to schedule recordings works different.

    Ultimate TV. Works like a DirecTivo with dual tuners but the software to schedule recodings is different. It's a Microsoft product that is no longer being developed but there is some minimal support. Only works with DirecTV.

    Dishnetwork 501 & 508. Like a DirecTivo but with a single tuner. The 508 just doubles the recoding capacity. Only works with Dish. Scheduling software is very basic, like a VCR.

    Dishnetwork 721. Dual tuner integrated with Dish. Different software than what's on the 501/508.

    Dishplayer. UltimateTV beta that only worked with Dish. The basic model only recorded 7 hours. Spontaneous crashing and you would lose your recoding.

    Dishnetwork 921. Just won a CES award. Records high definition and standard def programs. I haven't seen all of the info on it yet.

    The biggest differences are in the way the programs are scheduled. Some work like a VCR. Set the day and time and it records. Tivos record by program title and key words. A program has a special showing. Tivo catches it while a PVR501 will miss it unless you change the setup. A show runs for two hours instead of one, Tivo records both hours while a PVR501 misses half of the show.

    Yes you will pay a subscription fee with Tivo. $13/month or $250 once but you get what you pay for. DirecTivos have shifted more towards DirecTV and the fees have gone down. $5/month or nothing if you have Total Choice Premier. UltimateTV is $10/month. Dish PVR's are "fee" but like I said, the software is basic. Also, they cost more to buy. I don't know anything about Replay.

    Dish doesn't require a phone line. Stand alone Tivo has to call in to get guide data. DirecTivos get their data from the satellite but have to call in at least once a month or it will start nagging you. Tivos can be upgraded to use a broadband internet connection instead of a phone line. Series I SAs can use a TurboNet card and a software modification. Series II SAs can use a USB to ethernet adapter. Series I DirecTivos can also use the TurboNet card. Series II DirecTivos have only been out a month so I'm not sure the capabilities.

    I hope this gives you an idea about PVRs. Post some specific questions and you will get a lot more detailed information.

    -Robert
     
  3. John B.

    John B. Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 19, 1999
    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hey Robert. Thanks for the detailed response. This will get me started.
     
  4. TimothyE

    TimothyE Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    There are no PVRs in the US that allow recording to a hard disk without a monthly or extra up-front fee.

    I chose the ReplayTV for it's flexibility. I recently bought a second 80-hour unit for $200 + $250 lifetime subscription.

    First of all, they have the ability to automatically skip past commercials without pressing a single button - instantaneously. In addition, Replays have a 30-second skip function which is also instant, or if you wish, you can use the old-fashioned fast forward method (5 speeds).

    I have it networked with my computer and another ReplayTV, any of which I can view/manage at any TV. You wouldn't believe how nice it is to be able to off-load shows to a huge hard disk on the computer (as far as I know, no other PVR can do this currently). I can record from any source that has RCA or S-Video jacks. This includes my HD OTA receiver, which as far as I know is the best way to time-shift OTA HD programming on a hard disk.

    I don't know of many people who do this, because it's pretty slow, but it's relatively simple to share recordings with other Replay users by sending it over your broadband connection.

    If you want the AOL or Mac of PVRs, just get a Tivo. If you want the ability to experiment and do all kinds of things with your PVR, there is no better solution than a Replay.

    Tim
     
  5. Bill Spahn

    Bill Spahn Auditioning

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 1999
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     

Share This Page