To Tivo or not to Tivo, sorta

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Jeremy Deal, Aug 18, 2004.

  1. Jeremy Deal

    Jeremy Deal Extra

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    I know, there's tons out there, but my question is a little different.

    I get the SA-8000 DVR from my cable company for 7 bucks a month. The cable company doesn't offer the HD/DVR box at this time (they don't know when they will get it)

    I want/need a media server for photos and music from my computer and I need a progressive scan DVD, I have to have a DVR too. The Toshiba SDH400 does all these things.

    Should I wait for the cable company to get the HD/DVR box and buy a networked DVD player OR
    Should I buy the Toshiba SDH400?

    My thoughts on this are:

    DVR functions of SA8000 vs. TIVO (can anyone compare for me? specifically recording one channel and watching another and how the digital cable box and tivo work together)

    HDTV w/ the SDH400 (Football is coming up, I want HDTV NOW, plus I didn't pay all that money for an HDTV for nothing)?

    Do I have to have TIVO plus service for Home Media Option

    Thanks for the input
     
  2. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    I can't answer most of your questions, but I do know this one:

    Yes.

    M.
     
  3. Jeremy Deal

    Jeremy Deal Extra

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    Which leads to the question?

    Is home media option and tivo plus service worth $13 a month compared to $7 for the cable DVR?
     
  4. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    It is for some and not for others. It's not for me. I'd rather have the dual tuner functionality of my DirecTivo than HMO on a regular Tivo. When I want to stream digital items from my PC, I'll get a dedicated device for that.

    -Robert
     
  5. BrandonJF

    BrandonJF Second Unit

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    Jeremy,

    If you went with the SA-8000 DVR from the cable company, would you be turning in the HD box (I'm assuming you have one)? From what I understand, my local cable company would charge $7 for the DVR service if they are replacing your current box, but for customers who wish to keep their HD box, they would also have to pay a $10 charge for an additional box, making the monthly cost of the DVR $17. Not sure if your situation is similar, but it's kept me from even considering the cable company's DVR for now.

    I'm in the same boat as you. I just ended up with a broken VCR that needs to be replaced and I've been going back and forth on whether or not to get a Tivo. Ideally, Tivo would just come out with a HD version of their recorder for non-DirecTV users and I'd go for it. As it is, right now I'm scared I'll pick up a Tivo and the SA-8000HDs would start rolling out the next week.

    From what I've read, Tivo is still much more user friendly, but I've never used the cable company's DVR, so I can't say from experience.

    Without a dual tuner (something else I wish Tivo would find a way to add in their non-DirecTV models), though, I would need more than one and for it to not be a pain, I would need to be able to transfer recordings from one Tivo to another, which requires HMO. If I do this, I'll end up with two SDH400s, one with product lifetime service, and one with the 6.95 a month charge.

    I did momentarily have an SDH400 once before and returned it, mainly because at the time I was really looking for a replacement DVD player and picked it up because it had a Tivo on the side. I didn't really like that the unit was really a Tivo first and a DVD player second (you can't even use the DVD Player unless you setup the Tivo - my modem fried without my knowledge and I attempted guided setup again, locking me out of the DVD player... with a DVD still in it). Right now, I could care less about the DVD player part of it and will never use it.

    I almost swung by Best Buy on the way home to pick up a couple, but still can't make up my mind...
     
  6. Jeremy Deal

    Jeremy Deal Extra

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    After a little more research I think my best bet is to stick w/ the SA8000 and wait for a good networked DVD player. I really want to get the toshiba, it has everything I need but there are a few drawbacks.

    Basically to sum everything up if the Toshiba had a dual tuner and supported HD this would be the best thing ever.

    In my opinion TIVO has to address these two issues (and make it affordable) if it wants to move forward and be successful.
     
  7. Brian J Dupuis

    Brian J Dupuis Second Unit

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    I just recently got the Explorer 8000HD DVR from Time Warner Cable, so I suppose I can comment on some of this if I understand your questions correctly.

    Some points about the good qualities as I see them.
    • Has dual HD tuners. This was impressive to me, not really knowing the features of the box before I got it. From what I can tell, you can record two high def shows and watch a third program off the hard drive at the same time. Note I have not actually done this -- most I've done is record two at once while watching one of them -- but it seems like there's no technical reason why you couldn't.
    • Appears to "record by name" and not merely by time. I had "subscribed" to a certain series that comes on a certain day at a certain time, and it also caught another showing. Some may like this, come may not. I say the more content the merrier.
    • Seems completely intuitive. No, perhaps not as friendly as Tivo -- you don't get the bleeps and bloops, the menus are perhaps not quite as "smurf happy fun time" -- but things are very easy to follow.
    • Unit seems speedy enough. Not as fast as teh non-DVR HD box I had before, perhaps, but not glacial.

    I've found a couple of bugs in this version... a few freezes, an apparent bug where if you have an HD channel as the default power-on channel, after turning the unit it off (note that this version keeps recording the current channel regardless, so the HD is always spinning) it will eventually start sending sound at the outputs and a "reverse black bars" video image out to 16x9 sets. What I mean is that video appears in the normal black bars area and the center is black (well, almost black... you can barely see the content through the black, believe it or not). This means be sure to turn off the display and receiver so you don't get woken up by rampant DVRs [​IMG].

    Over all I couldn't be any happier with this, especially for $7 a month. I essentially got it for free since I turned off their "HD Suite" package at the same time I ordered it. This really makes the HBO package pay off, since I just step through the HBO HD channel a week at a time and program it to record every HD movie I'm interested in seeing, so when it's time to actually sit and watch some TV we might have a good HD/5.1 movie to see. [​IMG]
     

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