Some Questions for "TIVO" Users...

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mike-M, Dec 18, 2002.

  1. Mike-M

    Mike-M Stunt Coordinator

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    I keep hearing about this product so I'm getting very interested in it. I plan to definitely do some research on it in the next day or two but I figured I'd come on here and ask the people who have it some questions as well.

    1. Is TIVO something like, say, a DVD player or a video game system where you can just hook it up to the back of your TV with some supplied colored plugs and you are good to go or is there more to it?

    2. I have DirecTV as well as "regular or local" TV stations and cable. Will TIVO record from just one or the other or does it have the capability where I can record, say, HBO on DirecTV and Nick at Nite on regular cable?

    3. Can you record more than one show at once?

    4. Lastly, does TIVO record programs commercial free?

    Any other personal comments/opinions would be great. Thanks in advance guys.
     
  2. James Zubb

    James Zubb Stunt Coordinator

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    1. There is a guided setup which you run through to tell it where you are and what your source is (antenna or cable). This is for the standalone, don't know what the setup procedure is for DTV models.
    2. You need a seperate TiVo for each. The DirectTV version will only record DTV, the standalone will record antenna or cable.
    3. The DirectTV model can record 2 shows at once. The standalone can only record 1 show at a time.
    4. There is no automatic commercial skip feature. You need to fastforward through the commercials. The Replay has this feature.[/list=1]
      I personally cannot watch TV without TiVo anymore. In fact the whole idea has invaded the rest of my life. I am constantly trying to rewind the radio for instance when I miss something.
     
  3. Gary King

    Gary King Second Unit

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    Unless it was specifically changed in TiVo series 2, the standalone TiVos handle DirecTV just fine (and they _should_ be able to handle both DTV and antenna simultaneously). Only one show can be recorded at a time, though.

    DirecTiVo units (which would replace your current DirecTV receiver) can record two shows at once; however, they only support DirecTV signals.
     
  4. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

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    1. There's a little more to it. It's less like connecting a DVD player and more like connecting a VCR.

    2. A standard TiVo box can record from RF coax (antenna or basic cable) and from composite/S-video (DirecTV or digital cable). It does support recording from both and every channel you have is incorporated into a common program guide. TiVo has an infrared emitter to change the channels on DirecTV boxes and many cable boxes. It can also connect to a DirecTV box through its serial port to change channels.

    3. A standard TiVo box records only one show at a time. But, if you're willing to forego using TiVo to record local channels by antenna or cable, you can instead get the DirecTV Digital Video Recorder which is a combination DirecTV receiver and TiVo. It can record two DirecTV channels at once, but it can't record from any other source at all. The picture quality is also better than standard TiVo because it records the original DirecTV digital signal. And it can record and play the Dolby Digital 5.1 on those DirecTV channels that have it. Finally, this box is as easy to connect as a DirecTV receiver.

    4. TiVo records the whole show, it's up to you to fast forward past the commercials. There's an undocumented code you can enter using the remote to change one of the buttons to become a 30-second skip button. TiVo does not automatically skip commercials and thus TiVo is able to save money by not having to pay lawyers to defend them against lawsuits from the TV industry.

    I have a DirecTV/TiVo and I used to have a standard TiVo as well but I gave it to my sister. Unless it's absolutely important to record the local broadcast networks but they're not available to you on DirecTV, I recommend the DirecTV/TiVo.
     
  5. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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  6. Mike-M

    Mike-M Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks guys,

    Just to be clear, TIVO isn't any kind of a service where I would have to pay monthly to use it's features, right? It's basically like a VCR in that I can take it home, hook it and and it's ready to roll?

    Also, about this ReplayTV...does this do everything TIVO does? Can it also be bought in stores like Best Buy and others?

    About TIVO, how long will it store your recorded shows? And, does it have outputs where one could output the recorded program to VHS?

    Thanks guys.
     
  7. Frank Anderson

    Frank Anderson Cinematographer

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    Monday I bought my THIRD Tivo. I now have one on all but one TV in the house. [​IMG]
    You can use it like a VCR but it works 100 times better with the service. You have two options. Lifetime @ $250 or monthly @ $13.
    I believe the machines are very similar but I do not have ReplayTV. Their service fee is built into the cost of the machine.
    TiVo will store a show until it runs out of room. You can tell it not to delete it and when it runs out of room it will not record anymore. One of the menus has the feature of sending the show to a VCR. Obviously you have to have a VCR hooked up.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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  9. Vickie_M

    Vickie_M Producer

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    TiVo ruined my life. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    I used to easily go for months without turning on the TV at ALL! Now, I'm a slave to my Tivo and WATCH TV ALL THE TIME! I have over 100 Wish Lists set up, and a couple dozen Season Passes. The strange thing is, the ONLY actual TV series I watch is CSI: Las Vegas. I'd be a goner if I were into any other regular network or cable series. I'm also not into Sports, which I can just imagine would fill up a hard drive in a few days.
    I also thought it would help cut down on the amount of VHS tapes I have, but the opposite has happened. I constantly want to dub off things the Tivo has gotten, and have been buying and quickly using 12 packs of VHS tapes. It's insane. I wish I could dub off onto DVD, but Valenti thinks I'm a criminal just for wanting to save things I've recorded for my own use. I keep thinking that one of these days I'm just going to have to give up the Tivo, and go back to my quiet, never-watch-tv life, but I can't. I'm hooked. I'm addicted. Tivo is my monkey.
    Besides the fact that there's too much good TV to watch (I laugh at people who claim in ignorance that there's nothing good on TV-a Tivo will quickly put lie to that) the only problems I have:
    - It's slow. It's very, very slooooow. I can press a button and sit there and wait....and wait....and....wait....and wait...then whatever I pushed will kick in. Sometimes I'll push a button and nothing will happen. Thinking it didn't "take" I'll push it again, and nothing will happen, then it will use both of those pushes at once. I'm constantly having to go back one because I pushed the button twice. For instance, I'm in the To Do list. I want to page down. I push the page down button. Nothing happens. Well, I'm at an angle to the Tivo so I think I wasn't holding it right and push it again. Nothing happens. Then, quite a few seconds later, it'll page down twice! Then I have to page up one. Argh.
    - My second biggest gripe is not being able to "flag" a bunch of programs and delete (or, less often, save until) them at the same time. There are several programs that when you get a Season Pass for, they'll get every single episode. That's good unless it's a program that has a lot of repeats. For instance, Link has a show called "World Music" that I record. It repeats 4 times a day. It doesn't differentiate between "first run" and "repeat" so that Tivo feature (a nice and usually useful feature) does me no good. I can't set it to record at a specific time because it's on at a different time every day (even if it weren't, that wouldn't help me if they suddenly changed the time it was on). I set a Season Pass and it records all 4 shows. That's 4 hours a day of hard drive space used, way too much since I have so many other things I want to get, so I have to press the Tivo button (several second pause) to go into the To Do list, page down to find a World Music (several second pause), push Select (several second pause), thumb down to "View upcoming episodes" and puch Select (several second pause), find show I don't want, press cancel (several second pause), see "Do you want to cancel this recording?" and since the answer is yes, I push Select (several second pause), the "Please Wait" screen comes up (several, SEVERAL second pause), then back to the screen with the shows, thumb down to the next one I want to delete and do it all over again, and over and over and over. It's annoying, and it's time consuming, especially since it's so sooooooo sloooooooooooow and there are several seconds between each and every button push. (I know I keep saying that, but you wouldn't believe how slow this is, and it's very frustrating. It's like when you have a sloooow net connection and you click on a link and feel like you should go do something else while you're waiting for the page to come up). It'd help if I could bip, bip, bip, bip, bip, bip, bip (and so on) flagging all the shows I don't want, THEN push delete, and get rid of them all at one time. Since I have to do this for many different shows (World Music, The Daily Show, E! News Live, and a few others I can't think of right now), not to mention all the things I have to delete as a matter of course (say, it gets a Wish List show I've already seen or don't want), it takes me several hours a week JUST to maintain my To Do list. It's ridiculous, because I'd rather be watching the shows that Tivo recorded for me, but I put up with it because I love it so much. What Tivo does well it does very VERY well.
    Forget the previous griping though. You probably won't use and abuse the wonderful Wish List and Season Pass features anywhere near as much as I do. The key is what Tivo does well it does very VERY well.
    (envy) I wish I had 200 hours of storage, then I wouldn't have to worry about deleting for space so much (/envy)
    We have DirecTV Tivo, btw. Love it!
     
  10. JeffAR

    JeffAR Auditioning

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    I've also got a DirecTV/Tivo. As others have mentioned, it really will change the way you watch TV.

    Turning on the 30-second skip feature it easy, and even upgrading the space isn't too difficult. I've replaced the original drive in mine with a pair of 80 gig drives. Original estimated recording capacity was about 30 hours. New estimated recording capacity is just over 140 hours. Note that doing this does void the warranty.

    I've probably got about 3 dozen season passes. There's always something good on the Tivo. My experience is very similar to Vickie_M's, I used to hardly ever watch TV. Now I watch Tivo quite a bit. On the plus side (of having an upgraded Tivo), if I want to go for a week of not watching anything I've got the space for it. The Tivo will just keep adding stuff. Even with all those season passes, I haven't managed to fill it up yet.
     
  11. AllanN

    AllanN Supporting Actor

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  12. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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    Current models require service; only older standalone models that shipped prior to ver 2 software work in a manual VCR timer mode without the service (though with lots of nag screens suggesting you get the service).

    But the service is worth it for $250; a Tivo can control the DBS box a hundred times better than a DBS can control a VCR. DBS cannot control a Tivo, anyway, since it doesn't have start/stop recording like a VCR; a Tivo expects to control recording and normally records in units of show length, rather than recording until it sees a stop command (which makes sense, considering that could make it record continuously for days and suck up the entire drive if the stop command wasn't received).

    The DirecTivo, at $5/month for the service, is even better, in that you get perfect reproduction of the signal, and the dual simultaneous recording. It's definitely the one to pick if you can subscribe to locals from DirecTV rather than through cable or antenna.
     
  13. Grant B

    Grant B Producer

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    I bought mine for a survlience system...instead of changing tapes etc.
    I could never get it working right without the service.
    Since I was my wifes taper...I gave it to her so never again would I have to tape friends.
    It took her forever,and she still asks me to TIVO things for her.
    The GUI on TIVO sucks, my Sony DSS was much better. It still cant find some broadcast channels and at times tapes strange cra and ignores what was programed.
    Got mine as a demo and after rebate it cost me $49.99
    I would say that should be the normal price, I dont think the service is worth it by a long shot

    Just my honest opinion
     
  14. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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    The GUI on TIVO sucks, my Sony DSS was much better.
    I guess you're entitled to this opinion.
    It still cant find some broadcast channels and at times tapes strange cra and ignores what was programed
    But this part is total FUD. If you can't select the right channel, either you have the wrong lineup selected,
    Tribune's lineup for you is incorrect, or you don't have the channel checked under "channels you receive". They'd correct lineup issues if you filled out the form on their support web site.
    As for "taping strange stuff", the Tivo suggestions will never tape in place of what was programmed. It never ignores what you program in order to record one, nor deletes any of your programs to make space. They only record when the machine would otherwise be idle, to fill up otherwise blank space on your drive with programs you might want to watch. They are the first to be automatically tossed when space is needed. Plus, you can turn this feature off completely. RTM (available at web site if yours didn't come with one).
    For recording for your wife, even if she can't figure it out, which is hard to believe, how hard is it to get her to write down a list of her favorite shows and just set up season passes for her? Certainly you'd end up doing a lot less programming than you would if you were still recording for her w/ a VCR.
     
  15. Mike McNertney

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    Hrm I'm not sure what's wrong with some of your tivos... I certainly don't find mine to be slow. Once in a while there is a slight delay but most of the time it is very snappy.

    In terms of the user interface, I think it is quite good. It is easy to navigate, consistant, and puts the most used commands at your fingertips. If it isn't finding channels, you probably don't have it set up correctly. There is a menu for setting up the channels you get. For the most part it does this automatically but, for example, I had to manually set it to see HBO. The TiVo also never records its "picks" over programs you have actually set to record. Maybe if you've seen this the program you wanted to record was marked as a rerun? I've seen that happen... it is the fault of the program listing, not the TiVo.

    If you are judging the TiVo interface by the fact that you couldn't easily set it up to record for a surveilance system... well I think that is a poor way to judge, since that is not at all what the TiVo is designed or marketed to do.

    Plain and simple.. TiVo rocks, the service rocks... I highly highly recommend this product to anyone who watches TV more than an hour a week. I've actually found myself watching less TV with the TiVo, because instead of just sitting down and watching whatever is on, I can watch something that I am actually interested in. I rarely watch live tv anymore... I get to watch TV on my schedule, not the network's.

    In my opinion there's really no point in getting a TiVo without the service. Without the service it is pretty much just a fancy and expensive VCR.

    As for TiVo vs ReplayTV, I can't really say. From what I've seen they each have their advantages, but perform basically the same service
     
  16. Grant B

    Grant B Producer

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    We all have opinions...
     
  17. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    Mike:

    As a ReplayTV owner for the past several years I can say that it works great too. I really like the commercial skip feature. Also, the ability to hook it up to my computer network at home for access to the net is a real plus. The new 5000 model has a USB hookup so you can use a wireless USB transmitter to your net access or just plug your CAT 5 cable into the ethernet connection. I haven't used this feature yet but with the net connection you can control the programs that you record from the web site. So if you are on the road and you have your ReplayTV hooked up to the net you can remotely tell your unit what you want to record. Also as of now ReplayTV has the longest recording times standard with units that go up to 320 hours. (Yes you can add hard drives to either units yourself but this will void your warranty).

    Both Tivo and ReplayTV require that you subscribe to their service to get a daily download of current programming in your area. You can go either monthly or lifetime. ReplayTV used to price the subscription costs in the total cost of the unit. Now, like Tivo, it is separate and something that you have to do to get either unit to work.

    Also, with both, if you want to archive something that you have recorded you can dump it off to your VCR or your DVDR.

    Also, in answer to your question you can get both ReplayTV and Tivo and your local Best Buy and Circuit City.

    You really have to get one of these units into your home and play around with it. Like the others have said once you get one you will get hooked and you will wonder how you ever got along without one.

    My personal experience with the ReplayTV units has been nothing but great and I can highly recommend them to check out.

    Parker
     

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