Some very basic questions avout TIVO

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Jon_Are, Oct 31, 2005.

  1. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2001
    Messages:
    2,036
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    EDIT: could a moderator run my thread title through a spell check please?

    1. While watching a previously-recorded program, how fast/convenient is it to zip through commercials?

    2. How does it pause live sporting events? How and when is the time 'made up'? Example: Say I want to run to the kitchen to get a cold glass of milk ([​IMG]), and I pause the game for 30 seconds. Does this mean that I am 30 seconds behind real time for the rest of the game (in other words, the rest of the world knows the Lions blew another one 30 seconds before I do)?

    3. How quickly does the 40-hour model fill up (and don't answer 'after 40 hours')? Do any of you who who got the 40-hourer regret not getting the 80?

    4. I have broadband internet access via cable TV - is that the only connection I'll need to get the daily listings?

    Thanks!

    Jon
     
  2. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2000
    Messages:
    8,303
    Likes Received:
    59
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Mississippi
    Real Name:
    Robert
    1. I like the 30 second skip button to jump through commmercials. 6 quick presses and I'm through 3 minutes of commercials in under 3 seconds. If I go into the program on a jump, I use the 8 seconds back button a couple of times.
    2. Once behind real-time, you can fast forward through commercials until you catch up. I like to watch my games the next day. I press the skip button on the tackle and jump to the next snap. It's like watching the game film in the locker room.
    3. Since I think you are talking about the stand alone models, the recording capacity it at basic quality. If you record at high quality, then hard drive space is used considerably faster. 40hr basic = 10hr high or something like that. I use a 35hr DirecTivo and it records around 27 hours at 'original' quality. I also have the HD model which can hold about 30 hours of HD, 200 hours of SD or a combination of both.
    4. Not sure. I know that the stand alones can get their guide data via the internet but I don't know if the first call has to be via phone. My DirecTV models are required to make a single phone call. My HD model hasn't called in over 100 days and my SD model hasn't called in 930 days.

    -Robert
     
  3. Charlie Campisi

    Charlie Campisi Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2004
    Messages:
    1,624
    Likes Received:
    44
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    I think you're overcomplicating the tivo. It is a recorder that is always on with some very nifty software to help you use it. The cache memory saves about 30 mins of recording time, starting from whenever you tune to a certain channel. When you tell it to record something, it then records the program to a hard disk.

    E.g., when watching the Hurricane Katrina telethon, I saw Kanye West make his famous remark about Pres. Bush. I was not recording the telethon, but tivo had stored the 20 mins or so I had watched in its cache memory. After Kanye spoke his mind, I hit record. Tivo recorded the rest of the telethon, PLUS the 20 mins that it had already stored in the cache, so I could show my wife when she asked what I was laughing about.

    Because tivo is saving to cache, it is always 7-8 seconds behind "live" sports. So, yes you can catch up, but no, you will never be watching it live. Hint - don't call your friends while watching sports live because you will be able to hear things happen on their tv, or hear their reactions, 7 seconds before you see it happen.

    Watching sports, or anything really, is great on tivo. As Robert said, the 30 sec skip button (programmed in with a code) is phenomenal for watching football. With the directv dual tuner tivo, you can pause one game, switch tuners and watch another. When the second game goes to commercial, you can switch back to the first game and pick up right where you paused it. You then use the 30 sec skip button to skip right through the play clock -- skipping over the huddle, endless replays and Dierdorf blathering on about something. You can easily --EASILY -- watch 2 games at once and not miss a single play. With three tuners, I bet you could watch 3 games in three hours without missing anything.

    I have kids and once my 6 year old started recording shows for her and her younger sister (so easy a 6 y.o. can master it!), the 40 gig model was insufficient. We moved the 40g to our bedroom, got an 80g for the main tv and then have an HD tivo 30 HD/200 SD hr for the basement. That's enough for now to keep everyone happy.
     
  4. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2000
    Messages:
    8,303
    Likes Received:
    59
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Mississippi
    Real Name:
    Robert
    If you find that the size Tivo you bought isn't big enough, it can be upgraded (and void the warranty). There are retailers with pre-configured drives, others with pre-configured CD's and you supply the drive, or you can just supply the drive and download the instructions and software for your own upgrade. The DirecTV HD Tivo can be upgraded to 1TB of storage.

    -Robert
     
  5. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 1999
    Messages:
    1,573
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0

    It's not nearly this much, it's more like 1-1.5 seconds or so. You can verify this by splitting the cable and running PIP with the live feed. It is enough that you don't want the live feed audible from another room.

    If it's running 7-8 seconds behind, someone hit instant replay, pause, or rewound at some point. Can get back to end of the buffer with the ->| key.

    Capacity -- there are 4 quality settings, best, high, medium, basic. See this capacity table. I tend to use high for sports (I find best to be overkill, can't tell much difference) & a few favorite shows, & medium for most everything else. I use basic only when I'm going on an extended vacation & am in danger of overflow. How big to get depends on how much TV you watch, how far you get backed up in watching the shows, how much you like to save semi-permanently, and how many long trips you take. I would probably go for the cheaper smaller version since if you have a PC with enough storage on the network you can use it as backup storage, and if you change your mind you can always stick in a bigger hard drive yourself (instructions, upgrade kits easily found by web search).
     
  6. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2001
    Messages:
    2,036
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks for the quick replies.

    So...

    I'm watching a football game. I have to run to the store to pick up a bag of chips (and some dip), so I pause it. I return 15 minutes later and resume the game.

    Does this mean I'll know the final score 15 minutes after the rest of the nation? Or, can I zip through the half-time show and more or less catch up?

    Also, is there an easy-to-find indicator telling me how much space is left on my drive?

    And how about my connections question? A simple cable TV input?

    Thanks,

    Jon
     
  7. David Norman

    David Norman Producer
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2001
    Messages:
    3,689
    Likes Received:
    698
    Trophy Points:
    4,110
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    I agree it seems like a couple seconds behind. I got really screwed up this summer trying to watch baseball and listen to the XM broadcasts because XM seems to be 3-5 seconds behind TIVO and I'd have to synchronize everything. The problem was if the kids were watching downstairs on Cable, they'd cheer, and I'd be forewarned too much.

    Upgrading TIVO is pretty easy once you've done it a couple times and far cheaper than buying a unit with a bigger drive as long as you don't mind getting rid of the warranty. If you of computer friendly, I bought a 160GB drive for $25 after Rebate and replaced the in unit 40GB drive so I ended up with a 160GB TIVO (152hrs at basic and 43+hrs at best) for $70 after all the rebates. I missed the Free after Rebate TIVO otherwise it could have been a real trip. I've also got 2 DirecTIVO with dual 160gb drives. I was planning of giving the Plain TIVO to my wife to replace a failing VCR and figure 70-91 hours at High/Medium is a heck of a lot better than 8 hours of EP quality.
     
  8. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2000
    Messages:
    8,303
    Likes Received:
    59
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Mississippi
    Real Name:
    Robert
    If you have basic cable, then yes. If you have a cable box, then I suggest using s-video between the box and Tivo.


    -Robert
     
  9. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    8,311
    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    5,610
    Location:
    Florida
    Real Name:
    Joseph DeMartino


    You'll need a phone line connection for the initial "guided setup" of the box. After that you'll want to connect the TiVo to a router, which in turn is connected to your cable modem. (Or to the cable modem if it has a built-in router. I have DSL, so don't know the mechanics of cable broadband. My DSL modem is also a router and four-port Ethernet switch.) The TiVo has two USB ports on the back that can be used to connect to your home network. You just need a USB NIC, either wired or wireless. (I use a Linksys compact wired ethernet connection for the TiVo in my home office, which is where the DSL modem is, and a Netgear wireless-G for the TiVo in my living room. This also allows me to transfer recordings between TiVos and archive them to the hard drive of my computer and ultimately to DVD using the TiVo2Go-enabled version of Sonic MyDVD. Check the TiVo site for supported wired and wireless network adapters.)

    Thanks to TiVo2Go storage space has never been an issue for me. I just transfer recordings I haven't gotten around to viewing to my computer and watch them there or on DVD. (I record a lot of news and public affairs stuff where video quality or watching the shows on the big screen are not an issue, that leaves plenty of space for any dramas, comedies and movies I record on the TiVo itself. I have two 40 hour units and have never come close to filling either. I bought the second in order to be able to record shows that overlapped things I was recording on the main box, not for extra storage space. TiVo does not make a stand-alone model with dual tuners.)

    I've recently added a Scientific Atlanta dual-tuner HD DVR to my setup, since Adelphia finally brought HD service to my area and I picked up a 27" LCD flat panel to serve as both the TV and monitor in the home office. (Ultimately it will go back in the living room where a new LCD projector or DLP set is going to replace my old 56" widescreen analog Toshiba RPTV. [​IMG]) The SA is nice and the HD picture quality is stunning, but in terms of features TiVo leaves it in the dust, and of course you can't save the digital hi-def recordings.

    Hope this helps.

    Joe
     
  10. Dick Knisely

    Dick Knisely Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    Messages:
    372
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Jon --

    I've been a TiVo user for about a year now -- long enough to be completely "hooked" and short enough to remember wondering if I really wanted one or how it worked.

    The greatest beauty of TiVo is its simplicity in operation. This is one tech item that got the user interface right. Powerful but easy to use. Like most everyone, I'll repeat the 'it changes everything about TV' mantra, 'cause it really does.

    However, here are some things you also need to know and keep in mind:

    -- TiVo units are a single tuner. Being able to record one thing while watching something else is only possible by wiring around TiVo so another tuner becomes active and its output displayed. There are almost always ways to do this.

    -- TiVo cannot handle HD services. It will record the programs but only as standard def and you'll need to route the signal around TiVo to the HD tuner if you want to see something in true (but live only) HD.

    -- If you have a digital cable box, its tuner has to be the active one to decode the digital channels. That means TiVo needs the IR blaster approach to control the cable box for channel changes. A tad clumsy but it works smoothly for most and at least works for nearly everyone.

    -- TiVo has no digital audio input/output. If your cable box has one, it won't be useful for any programming passing thru (or, of course, coming from) TiVo.

    Despite the minor issues, I love it and don't want to give it up!
     

Share This Page