ReplayTV Model 4508. Now in the house!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Parker Clack, Nov 4, 2002.

  1. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    [​IMG]

    I have been a user of the model ReplayTV model 2000 personal video recorder ever since the company introduced the PVR to the marketplace. Since then, my wife and I have really gotten used to recording our favorite shows so that we can watch them at a later, more convenient time.
    The only problem is that we ran out of disc storage space on our ReplayTV model 2000. So it was time to start looking for a replacement.
    After reading up on the newer model ReplayTVs and examining their pricing structure, I decided to give the Model 4508 a try. This unit comes with an 80-hour standard recording capability. Now, with a lower pricing structure, the 4508 can be purchased for only $399.99. With the $50 rebate the total comes to a mere $349.
    Check this out from the 4500 series ReplayTV models which have various recording capacities from 40 to 320 hours.
    SonicBlue has also changed its subscription plan so that the cost is not included with the unit. You have two choices here: pay a lifetime fee of $250, or $9.95 a month. The subsription fee covers the downloading of the channel-guide information for the unit.
    Front Panel
    [​IMG]
    Status indicators:
    • On/Standby
    • New Content Available
    • Recording in Progress
    • Playing Delayed or Recorded Show Indicator
    • New Message Indicator
    • TV/DVR Indicator
    Also:
    • Infrared receiver for remote control
    • Custom remote control included
    • Power button to put device in Standby mode
    BACK PANEL
    [​IMG]
    • Infrared blaster port
    • Serial port
    • Ethernet port (RJ-45 connector)
    • RJ-11 telephone jack
    • A/C power cord
    • Inputs:
    - RF/ANT for cable (F-type)
    - S-Video
    - Line One (2 audio RCA: 1 composite video RCA)
    - Line Two (2 audio RCA; 1 composite video RCA; 1 S-Video)
    • Outputs:
    - RF/ANT for cable (F-type)
    - S-Video
    - Line One (2 audio RCA; 1 composite video RCA)
    - Line Two (2 audio RCA; 1 composite video RCA; 1 S-Video)
    - Progressive output (VGA connector)
    - Digital Audio output (Optical connector)
    • Storage Capacity:
    - Up to 80 hours using MPEG 2 video encoding
    Cables and Accessories
    [​IMG]
    - Coaxial cable
    - S-Video cable
    - A/V cable
    - Serial cable
    - IR blaster cable
    - 9 to 15 pin Serial apapter
    - RJH to 9 pin
    - Ethernet cable
    - telephone cable
    - VGA cable
    One of the advantages of this unit over my earlier Model 2000 is its ability to link up to my home network via an ethernet connection to the ReplayTV network.
    Never fear though: If you do not have a ethernet connection to the Internet you can still use the internal modem to dial the service up. Also, if you have a wireless hub/router—i.e.: Linksys—you can connect the ReplayTV wirelessly to your network with no problems. (This is on my to do list.)
    One thing to note about this unit, though, is that if you chose to connect to the ReplayTV service via modem and then later decide to use an ethernet connection, it is recommended by the company that you start all over again from the beginning, with ReplayTV's setup. Just going from modem to ethernet has caused problems for some users trying to get connected to ReplayTV's servers.
    The ethernet connection enables you to stream programs from one ReplayTV unit to another in your house. You can also share programs with friends via the Internet, provided they also have a 4500-series unit.
    I do not have a monitor with a VGA input for progressive scan, but if you have this input on your monitor you will be happy to note that one is included. Also included is an optical digital output.
    Another nice feature of this unit is its commercial advance feature. When recording a show, this feature enables you to skip the commercials upon playback. The only problem with it is that you don't have a built-in timeout (crucial for snack and biology breaks!).
    No wait a minute.
    You do have a timeout with this unit, as with previous models: You can pause live programs!
    Probably because of my unit's hard drive capacity, if I pause live TV I can keep it on pause for about 28 hours. So you do have plenty of time for a "rest period" or two.
    You can also rewind, slo-mo, and frame-advance live TV. And for you sports fan, there's instant replay. With this feature you can jump back several seconds to view a play all over again.
    I have only had my ReplayTV 4508 for a few days now, but I can already tell that the picture quality has improved over my series 2000 machine. Funtionality via the remote is the same as my 2000 (but different remotes are used), and having front panel controls on the 4508 is a major bonus.
    I cannot tell you how thrilled I am with this unit.
    I love my model 2000, but with the added features of 80 hours worth of recording and its ethernet connection, it was a no brainer for me to pick one of these up.
    For those interested in the newer 5000 series, I have only heard of the 40-hour model being avaiable in stores.
    The pricing structure is about the same for the 4500 series versus the 5000. The 5000 series does have a USB connection and separate wideband progressive outputs (YPrPb), instead of the serial (VGA) progressive output.
    The pricing structure for the 4500 series is:
    RTV4504: Up to 40 hours of recording capacity for $299.99 (MRSP), plus a $50 rebate.
    RTV4508: Up to 80 hours of recording capacity for $399.99 (MRSP,) plus a $50 rebate.
    RTV4516: Up to 160 hours of recording capacity for an MRSP of $599.99
    RTV4532: Up to 320 hours of recording capacity for $999.99.
    The pricing structure for the 5000 series is:
    ReplayTV 5040: Up to 40 hours of recording capacity for $299.99, plus a $50 rebate.
    ReplayTV 5080: Up to 80 hours of recording capacity for $399.99, plus a $50 rebate.
    ReplayTV 5160: Up to 160 hours of recording capacity for $499.99, plus a $50 rebate.
    ReplayTV 5320: Up to 320 hours of recording capacity for $899.99.
    If you have been sitting on the fence about getting a PVR, now is the time, considering the lower prices for these units. Now I just have to save up to get another one for my bedroom!
    Highly recommended.
    Parker
     
  2. Brajesh Upadhyay

    Brajesh Upadhyay Supporting Actor

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    Packy, nice review! I wish the $250 lifetime subscription remained valid even if you got a different ReplayTV unit (it doesn't).

    Do you (or anyone) know how well a ReplayTV unit interfaces with a DirecTV receiver? I know DirecTiVo units are available, but I wanted to read comments from ReplayTV users who also have DirecTV.
     
  3. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    Brajesh:

    I am not sure how well the ReplayTV interfaces with a DirectTV receiver as I don't have that type of setup. But from what I have read/heard they work together without a lot of problems.

    Parker
     
  4. GordonL

    GordonL Supporting Actor

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    Parker,
    Are you aware that you can replace/add hard drives to your ReplayTV 2000? It's pretty simple - check out http://rtvpatch.sourceforge.net/ Replacing your current drive and putting in 2 120gb drives will get you ~60 hours of recording time at high quality.
     
  5. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    Gordon:

    Yes I am aware of that link.

    Parker
     
  6. Brian Price

    Brian Price Stunt Coordinator

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    Not to play devils advocate or anything but how do you think this compares to the TIVO brand units?

    Brian
     
  7. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    Brian:

    I have never used or tested a TIVO so I cannot give you a comparison. All I know is that I have used ReplayTV since it came to market and started the whole PVR business. If having the larger recording capacities (without having to modify an existing unit) and ethernet capabilites are important to you then the new ReplayTV units offer the best value out there on the market. Also, this thread is not about comparing Tivo to ReplayTV. That is for another thread.

    Other than ordering online ReplayTV is now at Best Buy and other retail outlets. So you check one of them out there to compare features and price vs other models.

    Parker
     
  8. Kevin_Kr

    Kevin_Kr Supporting Actor

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    Parker by utilizing the ethernet connection does it allow you bquite a few choices of sitcoms etc for download?(I am thinking since I use direct tv and have no locals, can get my sitcoms from there) also what is the average download time you are getting?
     
  9. Gerard Martin

    Gerard Martin Second Unit

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    Parker
    I recently did an A/B test using a ReplayTV 4504 vs Tivo's series 2. Found while Replay's CA is a great feature other features were not. Tivo's Picture Quality is vastly superior, as well as there program conflict resolution, to do list and Customer Service, in fact Replays CSR hours more resemble those of a banker rather than a company providing a 24/7 service.
     
  10. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    Kevin:

    You can set it up to record all your sitcoms by either selecting them from the menu or searching for your favorites and then selecting them from the results. Download speed? Since I am not using the ethernet connection (yet) I couldn't tell you.


    Parker
     
  11. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    Gerard:

    Thanks for the information but this is not a thread about Tivo vs. Replay and what unit can do what vs. the other. This thread is about the 4500 series ReplayTV units.

    You are more than welcome to start up a new thread to compare the two competing companies.

    Thanks,
    Parker
     
  12. Chris Gerhard

    Chris Gerhard Screenwriter

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    Brian:

    I have an older ReplayTV, a Showstopper PV-HS2000 and a DirecTV Receiver with TiVo service. I like the software with the TiVo better but both work well. I use the Replay for local channels only and it has worked reliably. Lots of information covering the two at avsforum including comprehensive comparisons. If you are considering buying one read some. You will find a loyal group for each so you will have to make up your mind. If you don't have satellite TV either will probably prove adequate. If you do have DirecTV the combo receiver with TiVo will most likely be your choice.

    The newer Replay 45xx and 5xxx models do sound like the best current standalone hard disk recorders from what I have read.

    Chris
     
  13. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    Christopher:

    I agree with your assessment of the 45xx and 5xxx sounding like the best current standalone PVRs. I too read up a lot on the various different models and chose the Replay unit over what I had read. I would have gone with the 5000 series but the 80 hour units weren't out yet. I am still thinking of picking one of these units up after Q1 of 2003.

    The more I use my 4508 the more I really enjoy it.

    Parker
     
  14. PienSavaca

    PienSavaca Stunt Coordinator

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    I have only minor complaints about my 4508, which i've had for a few weeks.....

    Using the website to program is great, but the replay will only "dial in" to get the new info in the wee hours of the morning. Mine is hooked up via ethernet, I'd like it to call in twice a day.

    I can live with the lag time it takes to change channels on my dishnetwork box (browsing channels in transparent overlay or from the programming grid is better anyway), but it doesn't seem to have 4-digit channel support!

    Extended quality recordings suck! (making the 80hr record time a farce) Medium is livable for disposable recordings, but if I want to record something to keep (dump to vcr w/o commercials) it has to be on HIGH.
     
  15. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    PienSavaca:

    I haven't had any problems with the Extended mode quality as it looks as good as the source material (cable TV) and I am not archiving it.

    I would like for them add the ability to watch a series of shows in a row. Say you just recorded your Thursday night line up of shows and instead of having to start up another one just give you the ability to pick and chose a series of shows that you want to watch back to back. Then you just push one link and they all show one right after the other.

    I really want to get my hands on the 80 hour 5000 series unit.

    Parker
     
  16. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Does Replay offer a two-tuner model to allow recording more than one program at the same time?

    -Vince
     
  17. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    Vince:

    Not that I know of. But you can bypass the Replay unit and watch another show using your monitor's tuner while recording another show on the Replay. Just like a VCR would do.

    Parker
     
  18. Chris Williams

    Chris Williams Auditioning

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    Gerard:

    If you're that upset about quality, you should check out ReplayTV's 5000 series. These newer models have higher quality than any of the others (including Tivo Series 2), especially if you use the progressive outs.
     
  19. Reece

    Reece Stunt Coordinator

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    Parker..

    I have a couple of questions about these new Replay units that maybe you can answer.

    I own a couple of old Showstoppers that I can access through the web to tell them to either record or delete shows that I want or don't want, but the only drawback is that the units only update themselves once a day and if your changes are not before that time you have to wait for the next 24 hour update.

    So my questions are;

    1) Since these new units boast an ethernet connection, is it able to quickly update itself multiple times in a 24 hour period?

    2) And if so, can this be configurable through the web? (For example...if there's a boxing match that starts in 3 hours thats beyond Replay's present schedule. Can I tell the recorder, via the web, to update it's scheduling and after it completes this request, schedule it to record the match?)

    By the way, thanks for the informative review.
     
  20. Chris Williams

    Chris Williams Auditioning

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    Reece:

    I can try to answer those questions for you.



    Sorry, but there's still a 24-hour blackout period. SONICblue has stated that there is no way to contact the ReplayTV remotely; the only way to get a message to an individual receiver is to wait for it to connect with SONICblue's servers.
     

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