Newbie: Replay tv vs TIVO

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Harold A, Nov 7, 2001.

  1. Harold A

    Harold A Stunt Coordinator

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    I am interested in getting one of these. I would like to hear the advantages/disadvantages of each.
    I know that for the replay TV units (non-panasonic) there is no macro-vision and that there is no subscription charges with replay tv. That is about all I know.
    I don't have a dish so would be using it with my cable service.
    Thanks
     
  2. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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  3. Matt Parsons

    Matt Parsons Stunt Coordinator

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    Can someone fill me in on what "Macrovision encoded programs" are?

    Thanks
     
  4. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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    Most prerecorded VHS tapes and DVDs are copy protected using Macrovision, which is designed so that your TV displays the picture fine but the automatic gain circuit on your VCR gets screwed with so you get fluctuating brightness among other things if you try to make a copy. If you try to feed video from these into a Panasonic Showstopper, nothing will be recorded. This won't matter to most people; why would you want to do such a thing? The other problem is that very rarely the machine thinks it sees Macrovision on a normal broadcast program, so it won't record that either.
     
  5. LDfan

    LDfan Supporting Actor

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    Harold, let me tell you this much. I bought my Tivo back in March and of all the electronics crap I've ever purchased in my lifetime this thing has been worth every dime and then some. I'm about to purchase another one because of the competition with my wife over the machine. My wife really hated it for the first week. She really didn't understand it or how it worked but once she did, WHAM... she started recording all kinds of things. The one thing that I really love about it is the onscreen channel listing. Very very handy.

    Jeff
     
  6. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    Jeff, you have two tivos now in different parts of the house. Do you have to pay a subscription fee for each tivo, or does one fee cover the household?
     
  7. Joel Mack

    Joel Mack Cinematographer

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    Each TiVo needs it's own subscription.
     
  8. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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    For the standalone Tivos, each one requires its own subscription fee.

    For DirecTivo combo models, that work only with DirecTV satellite, one subscription fee will cover all DirecTivos in the household, but one must play the DirecTV program mirroring fee for each additional box ($5/month, IIRC).
     
  9. Kyle McKnight

    Kyle McKnight Cinematographer

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    Stephen Tu wrote:
     
  10. Hanson

    Hanson Producer

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    Well Harold, I don't know what you decided on, but I own both units, and I while there are a few great features Replay has that Tivo doesn't, I'd go with the Tivo if you're going to get one.

    The To Do list, which lists all of your upcoming recordings with the option to delete or change recording options on the fly, is the single best reason to own a Tivo. Replay has nothing like it, and is clumsy in comparison to the Tivo is this regard. To cancel a show set up for repeat recording (because it's a rerun), you have to delete the entire repeat recording. Tivo allows you to zap individual shows as needed. Tivo will also alert you when there is a recording conflict -- the Replay will let you set up multiple recordings for the same time and choose which one to record based on its own logic.

    I like Tivo's interface much better overall -- it's more user friendly and intuitive. I also think the Tivo channel guide is more useful, but the non-grid structure may confuse some people.

    Finally, the Tivo's 30 hour recording mode is still full stereo -- the 30 hour mode on the Replay is mono sounding and echoey. I have to record everything on the Replay at 10 or 15 hour mode and can't really take advantage of the 30 hour mode like I can with the Tivo. The Tivo also has a 20 hour mode to boot.

    What's good about the Replay? The time skip function is awesome. Punch in the number of minutes you want to jump forward and hit Quickskip to get there instantaneously. Punch in 3 and Quickskip and you'll breeze right through the commercials. Also, Replay allows you to define which days a repeat recording should work whereas Tivo just tries to record everything. This is annoying when you have cable shows that run two or three times a week -- the Tivo tries to get them all, while the Replay can specifically choose one day to record. Line input for Tivo is a pain in the ass workaround that bogs down the system. Replay gives you two line inout options and you can record straight onto disk. And hitting pause will show you how much space in hours and minutes that is free for recording -- you will have to get good with Tivo math (to compensate for the various recording modes) to figure out how much recording space you have left.

    Many of the highly touted Replay features pre-Tivo 2.5 are now within Tivo including program padding, 30 skip (an easy Tivo hack), and a good program search interface (Replay was waaay ahead of Tivo 1.5 on that one). Essentially, Tivo has been slowly co-opting the really nice Replay features while Replay hasn't made any real improvements since release.

    The only feature I'd love to see is negative padding -- the ability to not only record a bit earlier or later than the start and end times, but to start a bit later then the actual start time or end earlier than the end time. This would allow me to cut a minute off of the credits of one show and start a bit ealier with the next show so as to not cut off the very beginning of the second show.

    Anyway, good luck. The only thing that would steer me to a Replay over Tivo is about a $100 difference all things considered (includng Tivo subscription fees). I think having both complements each other very well.

    Hanson
     
  11. Mike Witt

    Mike Witt Stunt Coordinator

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    Regarding Tivo hardware is there a better choice between say the Sony SVR-2000 and the Philips HDR312 (both are 30 hour units). I've read somewhere that the Sony only lets you record to VHS using a Sony VCR! Is this accurate? What are the advantages/disadvantages of these units? Thanks.
     
  12. Brian W. Ralston

    Brian W. Ralston Supporting Actor

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    Mike said...
     
  13. Mike Witt

    Mike Witt Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, in my search for a stand-along Tivo PVR, I came across this on a Tivo forum:
    http://attbroadband.tivo.com/flash.asp?page=get_index
    This is an AT&T branded Tivo unit. In the ad it says for AT&T customers, but anyone can order one. It is a newer unit than the Sony or Philips PVRs and is a 40 hour unit. It has more RAM and a faster processor, so it is faster in activating Tivo functions. It also has 2 USB ports for future expansion or possibly daisy chaining units together. From what I read at the Tivo forum (linked to from AV Science), this is the stand alone unit to buy right now. Rumor has it that new units are coming out from Sony and Philips that have the features on this AT&T. Anyway, I've been reading about this unit today and I think this is the one I will get.
     
  14. Brian W. Ralston

    Brian W. Ralston Supporting Actor

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    Mike,
    The AT&T unit does look good, but in my opinion there are a lot of questions about it that have yet to be answered. For example, no one really knows what the USB connections can be used for. Obviously for broadband through AT&T, but it might be possible that in the future AT&T would add a software update that might render the TiVo unit only usable with AT&T cable service or to AT&T broadband users. Of course, this is also just speculation.....but none the less, we just don't know.
    It would suck to buy a box like this (that is VERY new on the market), pay the TiVo service fee and find out later that what you thought you had, you don't. I would hate to be suckered into having to use AT&T broadband service to use the box (or perhaps that may become the only way to update the schedule info in the future, etc....). Right now it does appear to be a standard functioning TiVo unit. Perhaps the new Sony and Phillips models (which may be out very soon and that you said will have similar specs to the AT&T unit) may be worth the wait.
    Afterall....this device is called the AT&T TiVo and how many electronic devices do you see on the market with their brand on it (besides phones).
    I don't know...something about it just makes me take a wait an see approach.
    Also......Do you have Sattelite? if not, you can get a free TiVo DirectTV system here Free TiVo DirectTV . There is an ad in the upper right hand corner. Follow that and it will lay out all the direct TV packages and the offer for a free TiVo unit and Sat setup. All you would have to pay for then would be the TiVo service fee of $249 lifetime or $9.95 per month.
     

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