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TiVo or Replay TV? (1 Viewer)

tom_pat

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I can't decide on which one to purchase and need your thoughts on this. Here is my reasoning:

-Sonic Blue has claimed bankruptcy
-Replay TV has optical out, component with 480P, ethernet port and many other nice features.
-TiVO looks like more stable company and may bid on pruchasing Replay TV.
-Sony TiVo box can archive to Sony VCR, but has no ethernet port. However I hear it can work with USB to Ethernet adapter. (note: I have ethernet to HT).
-I hear that Replay TV has slow channel-changing problem.

Please help me! I won't know the outcome of Replay's bankruptcy until the 15th of this month. I really like the Sony Tivo, but it doesn't have noted features above....
 

Chris Gerhard

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I use both TiVo and ReplayTV almost daily. I have a DirecTV TiVo for DirecTV channels and a ReplayTV for local OTA channels. Now would be a good time to wait to see if ReplayTV continues in business before deciding what to do. If a financially stable company buys and continues ReplayTV, then you will have to decide which you like better. I prefer the TiVo software and the way it handles recording and conflicts but if you are interested in networking and internet downloads, the pricing will favor ReplayTV since those functions cost considerably more with TiVo.

Chris
 

Stephen Tu

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A lot of the features on Replay TV are of dubious value, seem to be there so marketing can list additional bullet points, like the optical out and component video out. The digital audio out doesn't do much good since it doesn't have digital audio in. It can't record Dolby Digital, so all it really saves is maybe one D->A->D conversion with receivers that redigitize analog input, difference likely inaudible. Analogous problem with component video, no component sources to record from, so what's the point? Reportedly the 480p is only for the menus at this time, and even if they get 480p out for the programs, all that does is use the doubler in the box rather than in the TV, often no improvement or actually worse.

The main additional features of the Replay that are really worth something are the easy show archiving to PC (if you are in to that sort of thing, I'm not), the ethernet port saving you from having to get a USB->ethernet dongle, and the auto commercial advance.

Tivo has fewer of these ancillary features, but it handles the core PVR functions better IMO. Does fewer things (or charges extra for them, the just released "Home Media Option" package), but tends to do them better.
 

tom_pat

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Thanks Guys! This is exactly the kind of feedback I am looking for! Please keep them coming......
 

TimothyE

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Depends on what you want to use it for.

Back in '84 when I had a choice between a non-GUI PC or a Mac, I chose the PC for flexibility, while many chose the Mac. When I had a choice between the Replay and the TiVo, I chose the Replay for the same reasons.

If you really care about easily archiving shows to your PC hard drive or DVD/VCD/SVCD, the Replay is the only choice. If you think you'll be interested in that, you might want to wait for the 15th to see what's going to happen with the Replay, because TiVo doesn't have the mindset to get you there.

If all you want to do is time-shift until you've viewed (as opposed to permanent archiving), jump on the TiVo.

Cheers,

Tim

[edit] BTW, I feed my HD receiver's 480i output into the Replay, and get near-DVD quality widescreen time-shifted playback. You can't get the same quality with TiVo.
 

george kaplan

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I haven't looked carefully at TIVO since I made my purchase quite a while back, so maybe things have changed.

But at that time, I went with Replay, because I wanted to pick what to record. I set it up to search for movies by title that I'm interested in.

I think TIVO could also do that, but it's main functionality (at that time anyway) seemed to be that it would select shows to record for you that it thought you'd like based on your viewing practices, which never appealed to me at all.
 

Bill Lucas

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TIVO has always allowed the user to choose programs to record. Additionally, it will record programs on its own that may match the users preferences. With hacks available that allow you to go over 100 hours on a single TIVO it's no big deal to delete shows you didn't request. I'm not sure where the information came from that a user can't choose their material. This could not be further from the truth.
 

Stephen Tu

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I think TIVO could also do that, but it's main functionality (at that time anyway) seemed to be that it would select shows to record for you that it thought you'd like based on your viewing practices, which never appealed to me at all.
That's always been a secondary function, never a main function. You can turn it off, but there's little reason to do so. This feature just means your otherwise idle space gets filled with programs you might like, where on the Replay you just would get the live buffer filled with hours of the channel it was last left on. They are also the first to be auto-deleted when your shows come on, so you don't have to pay any attention to them at all if you don't want to.
 

george kaplan

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Perhaps, but in their advertising at that time, the ability of it to pick shows you'd like was sure promoted as a main function. Hell, I saw lots of ads for it in which it seemed to be the primary function. That may have been advertising hyperbole more than fact, but that's a big part of how it was being marketed back then.
 

MickeS

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I had this choice a few months ago, and went with Tivo, based on the instability at Sonic Blue, and the fact that I had used a Tivo at a friend's house quite a bit.

As I understand it, the main advantage to ReplayTV is if you want to archive shows on a PC, they'll let you do this. It seems to be more "tweaker-friendly".

The commercial skip feature, which is apparently pretty good, might be another advantage, if you want to avoid manually skipping the commercials when you view your recording.

Otherwise, I see no reason to go with ReplayTV, since Tivo has a larger customer base and seems to generally have a more positive future. The programming service is excellent, and the UI is extremely simple to understand.

About the "Tivo Suggestions": you can simply turn them off if you don't like them, but why bother? It's a good indicator of how much space you have left, plus it gives you a lot of stuff to watch if there's nothing else on, or you don't have anything else recorded that you want to watch.

I was skeptical at first, thinking "what good is this?", and mistakenly thinking that it would use up HD-space I needed for "my" shows, but I quickly discovered it's an excellent feature I would't want to be without.
Tivo always has something recorded for me, stuff that I might not have discovered myself otherwise ("So Graham Norton" for example), and there's no more channel surfing. There literally is always something to watch. :)

With their new "Home Media Option", Tivo is trying to catch up with ReplayTV on the networking front. It's an additional $99, which gives you remote scheduling over the web, multi-room viewing (if you have several Tivos), an MP3-player (plays MP3s you have stored on your PC) and a picture viewer (views JPGs stored on your PC). Seems to be a decent product, but overpriced for me (at least for my needs right now).

/Mike
 

andy ball

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I used to have a replyTV Panasonic, but was very unhappy with the slow channel changing and the on screen guide. I now use a dish-network PVR. The nice thing about dish-network, is the signal sent from the sattellite is in the MPEG-2 compression already. The receiver has to decompress the file to view it. If you want to record it, it just leaves the file compressed until you view it. With the replay TV, I could choose different audio quality and different video quality. I had a replytv 60 hour recorder, at the lowest quality. Now I have a PVR 508 with 60 hour recording, and it looks great. We use it in the family room where we watch TV. I have not tried it yet on the HD big screen.
 

Parker Clack

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This has been out for awhile but thought you might like to read this about ReplayTV.

D&M Holdings to Purchase ReplayTV and Rio Assets

Bid Accepted By Court, Transfer Of Assets To Be Completed Within Two Weeks
SANTA CLARA, CALIF. – April 16, 2003 –

SONICblue™ Incorporated today announced that D&M Holdings Inc. (TSE II: 6735) was the successful bidder in bankruptcy court auctions for SONICblue’s ReplayTV® and Rio® business units, with a combined purchase price for both units of $36.2 million.

“We believe that ReplayTV and Rio are the perfect complement to our existing product line,” said Tatsuo Kabumoto, chief executive officer and president, D&M Holdings. “Not only will we leverage the technology to enhance our existing products, we plan to grow and extend our customer base by adding the ReplayTV and Rio lines to our product portfolio.”

“With this sale, we finish a difficult chapter in our history and begin a new phase that we believe will be more conducive to the success of these businesses,” said Gregory Ballard, chief executive officer, SONICblue. “We have done all that we can for our creditors, and our product lines will continue to compete successfully in the marketplace. Many if not most of our employees will continue their work, and our customers will continue to enjoy Rio and ReplayTV in their homes.”


For those of you that don't know D&M Holdings is the parent company of Marantz and Denon. So it looks like ReplayTV is going to have a very stable company behind them for the foreseeable future.

I look forward to seeing what they do with the ReplayTV model. If anything I see it continuing to get better.

Parker
 
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I use Replay because I absolutely love the Commercial Advance feature and for the fact that it becomes an IP device allowing me to send shows to friends, computers, other Replay's etc... No wonder D&M bought Replay. I think that it is more fun than Tivo, and isn't that what its all about?
BTW, all of the basic features, show searching, themes, etc. are pretty much identical from TiVo to Replay. The public has just latched onto TiVo because celebrities talk about it by name and they have a cute little mascot.

Barry
 

MickeS

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That's the main feature I'd want a ReplayTV for. How well does that work? When you send a show to a friend, how long does it take? Since I have DSL connection with 256kbit/sec upstream, I imagine it would take a while, but it would still be interesting (not that I know anyone who has a ReplayTV unit to send it to right now :)).

Also, archiving shows to PC would be a HUGE benefit. How well does that work? When you do it, how do you view the archived shows? Can they be viewed on the PC?

I wasn't interested in these features before, but I have a better conmputer now and am thinking of setting up a network for the Tivo 4.0 software. Both my wife and I really love the Tivo, but I'm thinking of getting one more unit and thought it might be fun to get a ReplayTV just to check out the differences.

Thanks,
Mike
 

Stephen Tu

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BTW, all of the basic features, show searching, themes, etc. are pretty much identical from TiVo to Replay. The public has just latched onto TiVo because celebrities talk about it by name and they have a cute little mascot
I'll disagree strongly here. I chose Tivo over Replay because it handled these basic features better overall when I compared the two (tried both out at home), and this has remained so through the software improvements of each IMO. I couldn't care less about the cute mascot.

Tivo offers better feedback and control over the various record options. Recurring recordings and various "search & record by keyword" are ranked on a priority list which you can manipulate so you can pick exactly what happens if two or more come on at the same time. Plus you get the "to do list" feedback to doublecheck the results of all this, and a "recording history" (misnomer since it also goes forward) to see which shows will be skipped due to conflict. Replay has no equivalent; instead it decides what to record based on an arcane set of rules, guaranteed vs. non-guaranteed, show vs. search, first-entered vs. last-entered, and you are left to yourself to calculate what will actually record, which can be difficult if you have a lot of shows. Then when you want to tweak the order you'd have to reenter a lot of recordings, rather than just sliding them up & down a list.

Tivo search by name is faster, since it shows you partial matches before you enter all the characters. Searches can be filtered by genre. Reruns in a series can be excluded. Canceling/changing record settings of one episode of a series is easy. Space management is more straightforward, don't have this "guaranteed space" concept that limits how many episodes of a show records.

Replay is a nice box. I'd much rather have one than just a VCR. But Tivo gives me better control over what records, doing a lot of things in a smarter, less annoying fashion.

As I stated above, the only things I see as Replay big plusses are the commercial advance, and extract to PC. For the basic features I think Tivo wins handily. And for DirecTV users, with the DirecTivo combo model there is no contest.
 

Parker Clack

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Stephen:

Space management is more straightforward, don't have this "guaranteed space" concept that limits how many episodes of a show records.
You are not limited to the number of shows that you can record of one show. You can record as many copies as you want. You can also do manual recording and I have always liked that you can start the record say a minute ahead of time and a minute past so that you can get the actual begining of the show. As many shows like ER start a couple of minutes before hand.

The features that I love on my Replay are the commercial skip, network connection with either ethernet or USB over a wireless network and progressive output.

Since ReplayTV invented the PVR and I have been with them since the demo days I have always liked their units. I have never had an issue with using one and now that they have gone with network access so I can watch one show in my bedroom that I recorded on my system in my living room and vise-versa it is all the better.

I am really excited about D&M holdings taking them over as I believe they will start to get the recognition that they have deserved for a long time.

Parker
 

Stephen Tu

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I wrote:
Since ReplayTV invented the PVR and I have been with them since the demo days I have always liked their units.
I like their units too. I just like Tivo's better. I took issue with Barry implying that people buy Tivo because of the mascot or because of celebrity endorsement, when many of us bought simply because we thought Tivo was a better product overall.
 

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